ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - There good news for eastern Orange County residents who are sick of waiting for traffic lights to turn green: the state is going through the entire Colonial Drive corridor to make sure all the lights are staying green long enough for drivers.
Driving just two miles on Colonial Drive from Avalon Park to State Road 408 can take four times longer than it should.
“Roughly 30 minutes to get through three lights,” said driver David Jackson.
And Construction at SR-408 and Colonial Drive damaged traffic sensors on the ground, making it even worse. So, if there were 10 cars or 10,000 cars on the road, the timing of the lights stayed the same instead of adjusting to traffic flow.
Now, the state is going along Colonial between Forsyth Road and Old Cheney Highway to make sure the lights are staying green long enough.
To find out how long the lights would need to stay green, two workers sat and counted every car that passed through an intersection. They did that for all 20 intersections between Forsyth and Old Cheney Highway.
“It's not something we just go and press some buttons to change the lights,” said Steve Olson of the Florida Department of Transportation. “You have to take into account these major intersections as well.”
Retiming the traffic lights at all 20 intersection will cost $90,000, but the better commutes will be short-lived.
In the fall, construction crews will start to tear up and widen five miles of Colonial Drive between Dean Road and Old Cheney Highway.
“Once we go under construction to widen this section to six lanes, we're looking at about 30 months to 36 months, close to three years,” said Olson.